Château Beychevelle, the "Versailles of the Médoc", could only be expected to produce excellent wine. This outstanding 90-hectare vineyard, planted on deep, Garonne-gravel soil, has a winegrowing tradition dating from the Middle Ages. More modern selection, winemaking, and ageing techniques also contribute towards the finished wine's perfection.
A place owned by Powerful Men
Beychevelle’s history is a long and rich one. The château's character has been tempered by three centuries of history in the hands of several powerful families, influential in the economic, political, and cultural life of the Bordeaux area, and even further afield. 2As far back as the Middle Ages, when the land belonged to the Countsde Foix-Candale, the wine of Beychevelle was shipped to England, Flanders and the Germanic countries from the port at the bottom of the gardens.The Bishop François de Foix-Candalebuilt the château in 1565. His niece, wife of Jean-Louis de Nogaret de laValette, first Duke d'Epernon, mignon of King Henri III,Grand-Amiral of France and Governor of the Province of Guyenne, inherited the château.De Nogaret de la Valettewas such a powerful man thatships sailing byhis estate had to lower their sails as a sign of respect. This is the origin of the name "Beychevelle", meaning«Baisse Voile» (lower the sails).
The Birth of a Classified Growth
The estate then came into the hands of Jean-Baptiste d'Abadie, Baron of Lamarque and Beychevelle and President of the Bordeaux Parliament. He replanted the vineyard after the terrible 1709 frost. His nephew, Etienne-François de Brassier, also Baron of Lamarque and Beychevelle and Parliamentary Councillor, inherited the domain in 1717. He is responsible for building the port at Beychevelle. In 1787, the château came into the possession of Delphine-Catherine de Brassier, Baroness of Budos and Beychevelle. She somehow managed to maintain the estate in good condition throughout the French Revolution.
An International Recognition
Pierre-François Guestier, a Bordeaux wine merchant, French peer and mayor of Saint-Julienbought Château Beychevelle in 1825. Guestier undertook to give Beychevelle back the fine reputationit had at the beginning of the century. His efforts were rewarded with a gold medal in 1866.In 1875, his heirs sold the estate to a rich Paris banker, Armand Heine, cousin of the famous German poet, Heinrich Heine. Heine built the château's north wing and continued his predecessor's efforts to improve quality and replanted the vineyard after phylloxera struck. In 1890, his daughter, Marie-Louise,married Charles Achille-Fould,a member of the French parliament, who took over managing the château. He further enhanced Beychevelle's reputation.After Charles' death, his son Armandgradually became director of the estate. As a French ministerin the early thirties, ArmandAchille-Fouldwas well-placed to cope with the world crisis.Armand's son, Aymar Achille-Fould, French Postmaster Generaland member of Parliament, took over in 1970. Following Professor Peynaud's advice, he decided to create a second winein 1974 : Amiral de Beychevelle.In 1984, the GMF grouptook a minority shareholding in the château and bought 89 % of the estate when Aymar Achille-Foulddied in 1986 with the remaining 11 % belongingto the pension fund of the SOCIETE GENERALE bank.
The new Era
Château Beychevelleis currently owned by Grands Millésimes de France, a subsidiary of the CASTELandSUNTORYGroups.The CASTELand SUNTORYGroups, two of the most important players in today’s international wine and spirits market are the shareholders of GRANDSMILLESIMES DE FRANCE, a joint stock company with a capital of 89128338€ established in 1988.GRANDS MILLESIMES DE FRANCE'sfunction is to co-ordinate the running of several prestigious wine businesses: Château BEYCHEVELLEClassified Growth run by Philippe BLANC, Château BEAUMONTHaut-Médoc Crus Bourgeois Supérieur managed by Philippe BLANC and Anthony YAIGRE, BARRIERE FRERESBordeaux negociant firm run by Laurent EHRMANN and VINS-FINS.COM a large mail order company. They are all located in the area of production. GRANDS MILLESIMES DE FRANCEhas alsoto mobilize and co-ordinate the human, technical and commercial resources of the various companies. It has been managed from the very beginning by Aymar de BAILLENX. Their philosophy is to strive for ever-increasing quality.
*Château Beychevelle's emblem, a ship with a griffon figurehead and a lowered sail, was sculpted in bronze in 1989 by Roberto Gnozzi, Professor at the Rome Academy of Fine Arts. The figurehead is especially appropriate as, according to Greek mythology, a griffon was the guardian of Dionysos' wine goblet.
The Protection of Environment
Careful monitoring, observation and care of the environmentare mottos which particularly concern Château Beychevelle. The ownership together with the château’s dynamic management teamhave implemented new working methods to respect the following principles:
●to provide high quality grapesproduced with environmental-friendly methods, reducing as much as possible the use of chemicalsin order to be harm-free for the environment and human health.
●to justify various treatmentswhich take into account natural factors and the use of biological methods every time possible.
●to keep a track-record in the vineyard and the cellarand to beable to answer any technical enquiry by our customers.
*Beychevelleis called the "Versailles of the Médoc" as a tribute to the château's elegant classical architecture and French gardens.
Ever since it was first produced, and down through the various vintages, Château Beychevelle has reflected the elegance and finesse of Saint Julien's finest terroirs.Graceful and complex, with a tremendous aromatic richness, Château Beychevelle is made from the best plots in the vineyard and undergoes a rigorous selection process.It reveals its character after about ten years, and can be kept for several decades, depending on the vintage. The rigorous selection process undergone by the grand vin results in the creation of its younger brother, Amiral de Beychevelle.Despite being made from young vines, Amiral de Beychevelle benefits from the same growing techniques, meticulous sorting, and traditional barrel ageing.It has the same elegance and finesse as its older brother, but reveals its character more quickly, offering wine-enthusiasts the full vivacity of its youth. It can be kept for up to fifteen years, depending on the vintage.
Second wine: Amiral de Beychevelle
Area Under Vine:
|Production:||240,000 to 260,000 bottles|
|Grape Varieties:||56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot|
|Ageing:||18 months in barrels- New barrels: 60%|
|Second wine:||Amiral de Beychevelle|
33250 Saint-Julien-Beychevelle FRANCE